Putin Sponsoring Military Juntas in Africa -EU Diplomat

A top EU diplomat has accused Russian President, Vladimir Putin, of sponsoring military coups in Africa for his imperialistic agenda.

The top diplomat, Josef Borrel, said Putin’s agenda was to use Africa as its pawn in the political chess game.

This is coming as Niger military junta has reopened its country’s land borders and aurspace with five West African countries ignoring Nigeria.

One week after the military coup in Niger, the new military government has reopened the country’s land borders and airspace with five neighbouring countries, a spokesman for the junta announced on television on Tuesday evening.

The border crossings to Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Libya and Chad were reopened, the junta’s spokesman said.

The junta also appointed new governors for the country’s eight regions.

The junta said Niger’s borders with Benin and Nigeria, both ECOWAS members, remained closed for the time being.

On Sunday ECOWAS issued an ultimatum to the coup leaders demanding that the democratically elected president Mohamed Bazoum be released and reinstated within a week.

If not, then the group threatened to take measures that could include the use of force.

ECOWAS began a 3-day meeting in Nigeria on Wednesday to discuss the way forward.

ECOWAS members Burkina Faso and Mali, already suspended after earlier military coups, had sided with Niger.

Meanwhile, France and Italy began evacuating their citizens and others, with two planes landing in France and one in Italy.

According to information from the French General Staff, two more planes had also been sent to Niamey for the evacuation.

France has offered to evacuate people from other European countries from Niger as well.

The Foreign Office in Berlin had said that the Germans in Niger were advised to accept the offer.

After a request by France, the European Commission is to cover 75 per cent of the transportation costs, according to a press release.

A flight carrying dozens of people evacuated from Niger landed in Rome on Wednesday morning, Italian Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani said.

On board the Italian plane were 87 people, including 36 Italian nationals, 21 U.S. citizens, four Bulgarians, and two Austrians, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.

Tajani said there are almost 100 Italians in Niger.

On July 26, officers of the presidential guard arrested Bazoum and declared him deposed.

The commander of the presidential guard, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, appointed himself the new ruler on Friday.

Shortly after Tchiani took power, the putschists suspended the constitution and dissolved all constitutional institutions.

According to Borrell,Russia under President Vladimir Putin has been fuelling recent military coups in Africa with its false propaganda and “profiting from the establishment of military regimes with its private militias that plunder the wealth of the region,” Borrell said.

Last week’s coup in Niger was the fifth one since 2021 after democratically elected governments were overthrown in Mali, Sudan, Guinea, and Burkina Faso, Borrell wrote in a blog post published on Tuesday evening.

Borrell said in a separate statement on Monday that the EU rejects any accusation of foreign interference in the coup in Niger.